I’d Like To Announce You’re Not Invited

j0439497My husband Eric and I received a high school graduation announcement for our neighbor Catherine, who lives across the street. It’s hard to believe this young woman will soon be leaving home and heading to college. It seems like just yesterday she was a little girl playing with dolls.

When I opened the announcement I had to laugh. The last time we received a graduation announcement we thought it was an invitation. We didn’t notice there were no tickets enclosed. Despite this, somehow we found out the time of the ceremony and headed to the school on graduation day. When we got there all the doors were closed. It didn’t help that we were late (this was before I was an etiquette consultant and really knew better). We eventually found an unlocked door, entered and when asked for our tickets we said they weren’t in our “invitation”. The woman at the door tried to help us but eventually we were told no tickets, no entry. We left feeling embarrassed and a little angry we weren’t invited to the ceremony.

Now that I’m an etiquette consultant I know that unless there is a response card or tickets the announcement is just that, an announcement. So, when we opened Catherine’s announcement (and separate invitation to a graduation party) I knew we were just being informed of her graduation and there was no need to make the trek to the high school on graduation day.

One last laugh worthy story; when I was graduating from high school, I remember getting a stack of announcement materials to package and send out to my friends and family. I thought it was odd there were two envelopes so I tossed the smaller envelope and put the announcement into the bigger envelope. I wondered why it was so loose in the envelope. If only I had attended an etiquette class, I would have known exactly what to do.

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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

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